The footballing season has ended for many teams, but for Arsenal it will end this Saturday where they have a good chance of retaining the FA Cup which they won in an emphatic manner last season and making this a successful season, while also setting up the tone for the next season.
The Gunners will take on Aston Villa this weekend at Wembley, where the North London club have a pretty good record. When Arsenal broke the trophy drought last season last season, it was expected to be a spring board for success this season but thanks to an awful start in the League campaign we have not been able to build on the Cup success from last season.
Many might point that the Cup has lost it’s significance in recent years but if you post this question to any hardcore followers of the English football they will definitely oppose to that, as the Cup never fails to provide the enthralling experience you won’t be able to witness anywhere else. Last year’s final was no different as Arsenal needed a last gasp Ramsey winner to overturn a 2-0 deficit to clinch the Cup.
The season has been a roller coaster ride for the Gunners, as they have seen both extremes at different points of the season. They started the season on a disappointing note as they succumbed to their worst start to a season but then went on a brilliant 8 game run which more or less confirmed their direct qualification for the Champions League next season.
It hard to guess which Arsenal will turn out on Saturday but going by the recent form it’s likely that we will see the latter turn up. If we go by the League form this season, then Arsenal are hands down favourites to retain their trophy but as mentioned earlier the FA Cup will always bring it’s fair share of magic. The Villans have barely escaped the relegation and have taken a beating in both games this season, as they conceded 8 goals without scoring once.
However it won’t be easy as Villa have many talented players including Benteke and if Arsenal relax even for a bit then he is likely to pounce on us. We will look to dominate the possession while Villa will look to cause problems on the counter and it will be interesting how Wenger will line up his team against a team who are likely to sit back and defend in numbers.
It remains to be seen whether Walcott will be given a chance to start after his exploits against West Brom, as he can cause some serious problems with his pace. It won’t easy but the lack of consistency from the Villans should go in Arsenal’s favour and they should be able to post a comfortable victory. If we can retain the Cup, then it will be a big boost to our title challenge next season.
Can Arsenal retain the FA Cup?